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Corruption in South African schools continues to grow

Corruption Watch South Africa


Corruption and irregularities in South African schools continues to grow with Corruption Watch receiving more than 300 reports of corruption in Schools. New information and research undertaken by Mxit has confirmed that corruption is on the rise and urgent attention is required.

The survey into corruption in South Africa school was done by market research company Pondering Panda in order to get a deeper understanding of corruption in schools. Over 3200 individuals aged between 13 and 34 were interviewed. This sample set is far more comprehensive than sample set used by global watchdog Transparency International.

Approximately 50% of those individuals interviewed were learners at schools and FET colleges and 31% were family members of learners. Most of the learners were from public schools with an equal balance of male and female respondents.

The main objective of the questions asked were to ascertain the perceptions of the level and types of corruption in schools, who were the perpetrators of school corruption, as well how they reported school corruption via existing channels.


Corruption at school is here to stay

The survey revealed that 53% of those interviewed believe that corruption in schools is getting worse and less that half of the respondents who are aware of corruption will report it. Only 42% reported incidents of corruption. Free State has the most non-reporters with 70%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (67%) and the Western Cape (64%).

The survey also revealed that there is an equal amount of corruption in both private and public school in South Africa. The vast majority of respondents are extremely concerned about corruption and view it as a major problem.


South Africa School Corruption

Apart from the 53% who viewed corruption as a growing problem, only 17% felt that was getting better, 13% believe that it was the same, and 18% did not know. The vast majority of respondents believe that Mpumalanga has the highest levels of corruption followed by Eastern Cape and North West.

Individuals who reported incidents of corruption did so to school principals or parents, or to a member of a school governing board (SGB), to an official anti-corruption institution such as the presidential hotline or the Education Department.

More people reported corruption to Corruption Watch rather than the presidential hotline. Those aged between 15-17 were more likely to report to Corruption Watch while 13-14 year olds were more likely to report incidents to their parents or teachers.


True victims of corruptions are learners

The most common form corruption was the misuse and misappropriation of school funds or school property followed by learners being ordered to do favors for improved grades. Nepotism in the appointments of staff and procurements practices is also a problem as well as the sale of exam papers. The most common form of around exam times were favors for better grades and the selling of exam papers.

Mpumalanga had the biggest problem when it came selling of exam papers, while misappropriation of school funds was more prevalent in Free State and North West provinces.

The vast majority of respondents believe that the mail culprits of corruption are school principals followed by teachers and then members of school governing boards. The Eastern Cape had the highest number of corrupt principals (61%). The Free State had the most corrupt teachers (41%). And Northern Cape had the most corrupt school governing bodies (33%).

Female learners claim that teachers are more responsible for corruption, while mailed believe that principals are more corrupt. Overall, the vast majority of respondents believe that principals are to blame for the misuse of school funds and property. Almost half believe that principals are responsible for nepotism in schools.

When it came to doing favors for better grades, the majority of respondents believe that teachers are to blame and almost half believe that teachers sells exam papers to learners.


How to combat corruption in our schools

Even though the vast majority of learners do not report incidents of corruption, they did however identify ways in which corruption may be combatted. The best way to combat corruption in schools was with regular anti-corruption meetings and anti-corruption groups. Social media was the second best suggestion to fight corruption via Mxit, Facebook and Twitter


How to report corruption

To allow for easy reporting of corruption in schools, Corruption Watch is piloting a 24-hour toll-free line. Members of the public who wish to report corruption in schools can call 0800 023 456.

Source: Corruption Watch


Campaign against bullying, sexual violence launched in SA

A campaign to encourage South Africans, in particular pupils to pledge against bullying and sexual violence at schools was unveiled in conjunction with Youth Day.

Referred to as the “Ubuntu Pledge”, the campaign is going to encourage pupils and teachers throughout the country to sign the pledge during the course of national visits. The campaign comes after requests from organisations and individuals countrywide who offered assistance to stand against such acts.

The pledge at the same time commits individuals to uphold the constitutional values including human dignity, non-racism and non-sexism. Furthermore, it commits to “foster an environment of mutual respect both inside and outside of the classroom,” reporting all wrongdoing and encourages pledgers to “embrace boldness, loyalty and honesty.”

The campaign is a joint collaboration between Proudly South Africa, the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Women, Children and People With Disabilities, to name a few, in the aftermath of the Soweto girl who was ganged raped by a group of youth in April this year.

The incident was also recorded on a cell phone and went virul across the internet received national condemnation.

Giving a presentation at the launch, Proudly SA CEO, Leslie Sedibe pointed out that they were fully commited to the campaign and that the nation must never go through the incident ever again.

“As South Africans we must never accept the abhorrent crimes as a way of life in our country. It goes against every gain of our humanity,” he was quoted saying, adding that individuals must drive the message to the youth that abuse and violence was not acceptable and would not be tolerated.

Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty stated the launch occurring on Youth Day, reveals a great deal with regards to the way forward for the country. Younger generation must follow and take lessons from the 1976 generation who stood up for what they believed in and have pride.

Just as much as youth have rights, these rights come along with responsibility, said the deputy minister.

He called the younger generation to uphold the principles of respect, honestly, integrity and mutual respect for other people.

Various other partners of the national campaign also include The National Prosecuting Authority, the Film and Publication Board, Crime Line, POWA, Princess of Africa Foundation, SHOUT, Orlando Pirates Football Club, Zinto Activation Group and the International Federation of Christian Churches (IFCC).

Celebrities such as Yvonne Chaka Chaka, PJ Powers, Baby Jake Matlala, Miss SA Teen Celeste Khumalo, have also offered assistance and joined as partners in the national campaign. They will serve as role models for the youth and take part in school visits.

Source: BuaNews


Eskom launches new welding school giving hope to youth


The newly launched Eskom EAL Welding School will offer placements for at least 700 students to be trained as high class welders.

The new school opened its doors last Thursday and is located in Midrand.

“Over the next seven years, Eskom will train a minimum of 700 students to be welders – and not simply regular welders, but high class welders,” chief executive officer Brian Dames stated.

The school forms an important part of Eskom’s Professional Welding Capability Development Programme, which is designed to boost its capacity to train welders to international quality standards. This is to meet Eskom’s needs for the construction of brand new power plants along with the maintenance and upgrading of existing plants.

The school, which at the moment has 150 students in numerous phases of training, was established to deal with the skills shortage in the country and it is going to make certain that the parastatal will have the ability to replace skills which in fact had to be brought in from other countries with home-grown welding specialists.


The courses offered to welders encompasses on-the-job training at power stations along with classroom theory.

“It is essential for state institutions to develop skills in-house that will significantly help to relieve the country’s shortage as well as to stimulate economic and employment opportunity,” said Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

“This is a vital and strategic technical skills development programme, simply because welders will have the ability to work not only for Eskom, but will also be beneficial to the broader South African economy.”

The school is a collaboration involving the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW) and Eskom. At the conclusion of their 3 to 5 year schooling, students will receive a dual South African and international qualification accredited by the International Institute of Welding (IIW) and SAIW.

Eskom at present has a pipeline of 6 386 learners, with an emphasis on training artisans, engineers and technologists for future years with Eskom making an investment in excess of R1 billion a year, which represents more than 6% of the wage bill, in the training and development of its human resources.

Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi pointed out that Eskom is committed to delivering technical skills development targets for their infrastructure requirements, and that the welding programme would provide South Africans career and skills opportunities in a scarce skills category.


For more information, contact Eskom directly – click here

Source: BuaNews


South African schools ranked alongside the world’s best


Three of South Africa’s leading schools have been successful in making it into the 2011 Global Education and Skills: An Oxbridge Guide publication.

The guide is a collaborative endeavor between old rivals, the student unions of Oxford and Cambridge universities in the UK.

Its objective is to provide a wide-ranging point of view of schooling throughout the world, from nursery all the way up to college level. It illustrates the standard and quality of schooling to choose from, not only the private exclusive institutions but in addition the exceptional government-funded schools.

About 55 000 copies are going to be handed out world wide, to embassies and decision-makers in both the public and private sector.

Queen’s College in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, Hilton College in KwaZulu-Natal and Benoni High School in Gauteng have been included as a result of their innovative strategies to the development of their pupils.

Queen’s and Hilton are boys-only colleges sharing well over 300 years of outstanding schooling. Benoni High School, on the other hand, is a mixed-gender school which first opened its doors in 1922.

From the three, only the iconic Hilton College, opened in 1872 and later on revamped to reflect its current Cape-Dutch architectural style, happens to be an independent school.

The pride of Queenstown


Queen’s College, among the oldest schools in the country, was established in 1858. The honour of being ranked among the 150 outstanding learning centres showcased is all the more impressive if one takes into account that Queen’s is a regular government school.

Hayden Buchholz, the college’s marketing director, states that the selection process began in 2010 the moment the college was initially approached by representatives from the two British universities.

“It was quite a lengthy process,” recalls Buchholz, adding that inclusion is actually by invitation only.

The accolade is going to do a good deal to draw in positive local and international interest to the school which has already been observed from the higher volume of applications for 2012, several coming from as far afield as Dubai.

“Schools are beginning to run themselves as businesses,” said Buchholz. “It is extremely competitive out there, and it is not simply essential to be good in terms of academia and sport, but additionally in cultural and social areas.”

Queen’s can be described as a completely representative school, reflecting the diversity of the area in which it is situated, with the majority of of its pupils hailing from the province. The school has a 70:30 black-white ratio.

The college is by the same token well-liked by Johannesburg parents who would like to send their boys to Queen’s to grow up in the wholesome, rural environment of the Eastern Cape, adds Buchholz.

In essence, the guide viewed the school’s diversified offerings, and just how effectively it equips its pupils entering into their adult years, says Buchholz.

A considerable number of Queen’s old boys have grown to be successful and respected adults within their respective fields, most notably former Proteas batsman Daryll Cullinan and Neville Koopowitz, CEO of major health insurance company Discovery.

Tradition and pride


In many respects Hilton College, based in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, displays the diversity of the modern day world. Here pupils combine from as far as Europe and the Middle East, in addition to the African continent.

While the well-kept grounds and immaculate buildings speak of decades of tradition and pride, simple fact is that it is the high quality of schooling that goes on inside these buildings which has built the foundation well over 130 years.

“Hilton is an all-boarding school,” says Paul Guthrie, director of marketing at the college. “There is a robust camaraderie and bond amongst the boys, and good manners and gentlemanly conduct continues to hold strong.”

Guthrie believes that the school stands apart due to its focus not merely on typical school based activities, but additionally on the continuing development of its pupils into well-balanced individuals. The school has a leadership system that demands each Grade 12 pupil to take on leadership roles and responsibilities.

“The idea is that Hilton boys understand early that they are an important part of a greater whole, the fact that they live within a multicultural society and additionally that they share a common humanity.”

Top achievers

Benoni High School, which was established in 1922, with its motto of Quam Optime (Latin, meaning “better than the best), has proven beyond doubt to be a leader in academic, sporting and cultural activities.

While academic achievement is unquestioned, and matric pupils successfully pass with consistently high marks, furthermore the school’s teachers have also been acknowledged by the Gauteng Department of Education as some of the country’s very best.

Ever since the early 1990s the school band has held national drumming and band champion titles without a break, and in 2006 it succeeded in winning the world title for Grade 4A at the Drum Corps world championships. Pupils in addition do well at public speaking, art and drama, in particular at eisteddfods.

With regards to sporting activities, the swimming and water polo teams are recognized for their success and competitiveness, much like the cricket, football and rugby teams.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com


36 New schools in Gauteng to alleviate overcrowding

The Gauteng Department of Education is making good on its commitment to boost education initiatives, with 36 brand new schools opening in addition to 500 extra teachers reporting for work in the first semester of 2012.

A further 300 pre-fabricated classrooms will be placed in active schools where overcrowding is an issue.

Thirteen of the schools will be in a position to accept pupils the moment inland provinces commence their 2012 academic year, at the same time a further five will open later in the month.

The remaining schools are going to be opened throughout the remaining portion of the first term.

Even though the the vast majority of the new school buildings are pre-fabricated buildings, five of the new schools happen to be solid brick and mortar buildings.


Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy

This brings the total number of primary and secondary schools within the province to 2 595 – which includes independent, non-subsidised schools – along with approximately 72 000 teachers.

The buildup to the new school year commences six to eight months before, with teachers expected to place requests for their support materials in May and actual physical pupil admissions occurring from August to October the previous year.

“It’s all systems go for the beginning of the new academic year,” education MEC Barbara Creecy verified at a recent press briefing, adding the fact that the new facilities should go some way when it comes to reducing pressure in a number of overcrowded schools.


Need for additional learning space


From the nine provinces, Gauteng has observed the most significant increase in pupil figures in recent times.

As reported by Creecy, student volumes continues to be rising an average of 2% during the last five years, consequently the province needs to make space for approximately 36 000 additional children each and every year.

The province has over 2-million pupils, at the same time in excess of 14-million children go to school across the country.

“There is no other province that has experienced this degree of demand for learning space,” said Creecy in her mid-term budget speech the previous year.


In regions which include informal settlements, where it’s not necessarily feasible to construct new schools, the education department has enhanced its scholar transport scheme to cater for these already disadvantaged children.

On top of that a budget of R100-million (US$12.5-million) also has been assigned for pre-fabricated classrooms in schools where right now there is overcrowding.

“We will provide 300 pre-fabricated classrooms and 100 pre-fabricated ablution blocks within the financial year,” said Creecy.

Repairs and maintenance work at established schools is in addition ongoing, with work in progress at 42 sites.

Schools at the coast opened one week before, with the Western Cape Education Department welcoming pupils at 11 new schools in 2012. In 2011 the Gauteng education department established six new schools.


Achieving UN millennium goals


South Africa strives to eradicate all mud schools within the next three years as well as make improvements to basic safety and functionality of approximately 3 600 schools by 2014 as part of its side of the bargain to the UN Millennium Development Goals, said President Jabob Zuma during a Parliamentarian session following his State of the Nation address in 2011.

The Millennium Development Goal for education is to make certain that, by 2015, the vast majority of children throughout the world have the ability to gain access to and complete a full course of primary schooling. The government at the same time intends to boost enrolment rates in secondary schools to 95% by 2014.

As outlined by basic education minister Angie Motshekga, concerted campaigns on the government’s part has brought about increases in gross enrolment rates by 20% in primary education and approximately 15% in secondary education.


“In fact, South Africa has virtually attained universal access in primary education,” said Motshekga at a December 2011 meeting on building public-private partnerships in education.

Statistics South Africa’s 2010 general household survey determined that nationally, 72,8% of persons aged 7 to 24 were enrolled in educational institutions.

Steady advances have been made since 2002, however the volume of young people not studying continues to be unacceptable – most respondents pointed out that the reason for this was due to financial factors, a predicament that the government is dealing with. The legal right to basic education is entrenched in South Africa’s Constitution.


Assisting children to learn


In Gauteng alone, approximately 900 000 learners are enrolled in the 1 237 no-fee schools, said Creecy. Of these children, over 800 000 at the same time gain benefit from the government’s nutritional programme.

Country wide, Statistics South Africa recorded the fact that the percentage of pupils countrywide who paid no tuition fees increased from 0.7% in 2002 to 54.6% in 2010.

To stay abreast of growing demands, the Gauteng education department’s budget has risen by more than 13% from 2010/11 to 2011/12, with R25.9-billion ($3.2-billion) allocated for the current financial year.

“Almost 74% of this budget is going to be allocated to salaries for teachers, school administrative staff and office based personnel,” said Creecy.



Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com